Trend Watch: Using Shipping Containers at Experiential Marketing Events

Why Experiential Marketers Love Shipping Containers

Shipping containers are easy to transport and reuse, which makes them perfect for brands that are hosting multiple events in different locations. This gives brands the power to bring the event to areas where their target audience will be, such as music festivals, shopping malls, or college campuses. Even if you need multiple shipping containers in order to pull off the event, they can be stacked on top of each other during the move. They are also very customizable, so brands tend to see them as blank canvases that can be transformed into anything they desire. Shipping containers also provide protection against bad weather, which is beneficial to clients that do not want to be forced to cancel an event if it starts to pour rain.

When a brand rents out a venue for an experiential marketing event, they have to follow certain rules established by the property owner. But, they do not have as many restrictions when they choose to host the event in a shipping container, which means they can be more creative. Many brands love the look of shipping containers, too. The industrial look is a major trend right now, and using a shipping container allows brands to tap into it.

You may be hesitant to use a shipping container at your experiential marketing event because of its small size, however in some cases, the size can actually work to your advantage. The small size of the shipping container limits the number of people that can come into your event at once. This gives the brand ambassadors working at your event the opportunity to spend more face time with each of the guests. Even though the size of the shipping container may limit the number of people who visit your event, it will guarantee that the guests actively engage with your brand, which is more important.

How Brands Are Using Shipping Containers During Experiential Marketing Events

Countless brands have already started to incorporate shipping containers into their experiential marketing events. Adidas recently took advantage of the versatility of shipping containers to create an unforgettable experience for their customers at Lollapalooza, which is a popular music festival. The brand displayed all of their latest shoes inside the shipping container, which was designed to look like a retro diner. The inside was cleverly designed, but it was the outside of the shipping container that really caught people’s attention. Adidas designed the outside of the shipping container to look exactly like an Adidas branded shoebox. Festivalgoers couldn’t help but wander over to see what the giant Adidas shoebox was, so the event was a huge success.

Coca-Cola was another big brand that used shipping containers at one of their experiential marketing events. The event was planned around the launch of the “Personalize Your Coke” campaign, which introduced Coke bottles that were printed with common first names. Coke installed multiple vending machines inside a shipping container and invited guests inside to personalize their sodas. Guests had the opportunity to type out what they wanted to print on their bottle of Coke, and then have it created right in front of them. In this case, the small size of the shipping container worked in Coke’s favor. The brand ambassadors were not overwhelmed by the number of guests, so they had plenty of time to explain how to use the machines and the purpose of the campaign.

PNC Bank used a shipping container to host a 7-day experiential marketing event that introduced guests to the bank’s various financial services. Guests that came inside the shipping container were greeted by a brand ambassador who then walked them through each area to discuss different services. There were iPads set up that guests could interact with so they could experience some of the online services themselves. This was a great way to show how easy it is to use PNC Bank online services in an entertaining way.

Gillette also used shipping containers to host an experiential marketing event, however their event was aimed at retail buyers as opposed to end consumers. The event was designed to educate buyers about the brand’s new product, a men’s razor with innovative technology. Buyers were invited to come inside the shipping container and try the new razor at shaving stations or learn about the history of the brand with a little help from brand ambassadors. But, the reason why this event was so successful is because Gillette allowed their target audience to engage in a dialogue about the product with brand representatives. The buyers were encouraged to sit down for a brainstorming session with representatives from Gillette in order to provide feedback and discuss ways to market the product. By doing this, Gillette proved that they value their relationship with buyers and that they view it their relationship as a partnership.

These are just a few of the brands that have capitalized on the shipping container trend. As you can see, each of these events is unique, which proves just how versatile shipping containers can be. For more information on the latest trends or to discuss how you can plan an experiential marketing event using shipping containers, get in touch with the experts at Factory 360. We can help with every aspect of experiential marketing event planning and execution.